On Premise IT SolutionsThe traditional bedrock of business IT
On Premise IT, where servers and networks are installed within your office(s), has long been the de-facto way to install and manage IT infrastructures for business. While cloud computing offers benefits for some companies it does not suit them. For example, your budget (and/or how you wish to finance your IT expenditure), regulatory obligations, security requirements and a cost/benefit analysis may mean that an on premise IT solution is better suited to your needs.
We have a proven track record in the design, installation and maintenance of on premise IT solutions from small systems supporting 10 members of staff up to large enterprise solutions supporting many hundreds.
Server & Storage Hardware
We partner with many of the leading hardware vendors including HP, Dell, EMC and Lenovo. In the majority of installations we have used HP ProLiant servers as we believe they offer a good balance between cost and quality. At BIT Solutions we are all about building the best and appropriate solution for our clients rather than designing something cheap and cheerful that we know won’t do the job. We have so often seen companies who have migrated from other IT providers “Buy cheap, buy twice”.
All of our server and storage solutions are designed to be able to run your business workloads (including anticipated growth), offer superior performance and include resilience in order to prevent downtime. While designing a solution is always a balance between sophistication and cost we believe with our experience we get the balance correct for our clients which is why we not only win new business but also retain the clients we already have.
For businesses who have more complex needs and require guaranteed uptime we develop solutions that include clustered servers and server replication. Again we have designed solutions for the smallest of companies right up to the most complex of enterprises.
Networking (Local Area Networks)
We design, build and maintain on premise network infrastructures which provide the physical fabric over which your servers and PCs operate. As such getting the design right is absolutely critical. Our standard network designs always utilise gigabit (1000Mbps) equipment however faster technology, such as 10Gbps, is now becoming more affordable.
Generally we use HP ProCurve network switches as we feel they offer good value for money, are reliable and feature rich. As part of any modern network you also need to consider Internet routers (to connect to your Internet link). Depending on your needs we generally use DrayTek or Dell SonicWALL devices as these vendors accommodate all sizes of business.
As well as your physical network infrastructure (the switches, cables and routers) no modern network is complete without a wireless solution in order to provide your staff, and often visitors as well, reliable wireless connectivity throughout your premises.
Regardless of your needs we can design a very basic entry level network for smaller businesses right through to complex networks for large organisations which include meshed topologies, VLANs and enterprise level protocols such as spanning tree and trunking.
Virtualisation as standard
We are still staggered to find so many “IT providers” who design solutions for the SME market either do not make use of server virtualisation or don’t design it correctly. Virtualisation allows you to take a single physical server and then, using something known as a hypervisor, partition the hardware to be allocated to multiple virtual machines. This technology provides a number of benefits including:
- Greatly improved return on investment due to better utilisation.
- Prevents the need to purchase additional servers (server sprawl).
- Assists with server hardware and software compatibility.
- Can improve your disaster recovery processes.
- Generally reduces server downtime.
- Prevents hardware vendor lock-in.
- Faster provisioning of new servers and services.
- Reduces your power and cooling needs.
Our engineers are trained and experienced with the two leading virtualisation solutions, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
For any modern business it is essential your IT solution is designed with due consideration given to disaster recovery and business continuity. The amount you need, or want, to invest in these areas will depend upon your business needs and the anticipated impact on your business if your IT is down. However, for most modern businesses the impact is substantial and quickly affects the operate of the business.
Solutions to address business continuity range from clustered servers, a modern backup solution, server replicas and well as many other options. We have vast experience in designing solutions to meet the most basic or most complex of needs.
Despite the growth in IT (data) related business communication tools such as email and instant messaging the telephone is still critical to any business. The days of buying traditional and basic PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone systems is long gone as companies look to deeply integrate their IT and telephony solutions plus provide their workforce with total flexibility.
We design solutions utilising Microsoft Skype for Business (formally Lync) or ShoreTel who are two of the market leaders in this area. Our recommendation of which solution best suits your needs largely depends on your existing IT infrastructure design, business requirements and budget.
Both Skype for Business and ShoreTel provide VoIP calling (using your data network for telephone calls, which can save substantial money for inter office calls) but their real power is in the offer features they offer. This includes deep integration with your day to day business applications (such as Outlook), instant messaging, call conferencing, video conferencing and sophisticated call routing.
Financing your on premise IT
There are two common approaches used by companies to finance their on premise IT expenditure (in fact they often mix the two approaches). The first is to budget and pay for IT expenditure out of your operating cashflow. In this case we would recommend replacing cheaper components (such as desktop PCs, laptops and monitors) on a recurring cycle so that many of your costs are spread over the course of your financial year.
The second approach is to lease a complete IT infrastructure (this could include servers, storage, network devices, PCs, monitors, etc.) with a view to refreshing the complete infrastructure every 3 to 5 years. This approach is popular with businesses who either can’t afford the capital expenditure as a single lump sum, don’t want to consume cash reserves and/or want to finance their IT infrastructure on the same cycle as the lifecycle of the equipment. While we don’t directly offer financing we do work with a number of independent finance brokers who have been proven to find suitable and competitive packages for our clients. Alternatively, if you already have a leasing agreement in place you may find your current vendor can provide competitive pricing.